When my then 14 yr old daughter suddenly — with no discussion whatsoever — did not return from her dad and his 5th wife, but her presence was replaced with a false accusation and an “emergency” change of custody (with the child support immediately terminated along with a request for money without reimbursing me for the $2,000 camp I had my daughter signed up for) — a camp she would no longer be allowed to attend since her dad had encouraged her to mutilate her earlobes with “gauges” and her role at the camp would have been to mentor a little girl) — I was in shock.
The only thing I knew about Parental Alienation was that my former father-in-law had been successful in putting the blame on my former mother-in-law for not being in her kids’ lives once the oldest, my ex, became 14. To this day, they are abusive towards to this kind, 76 year old woman – her only daughter not speaking to her, but considering her father, who once gave her a black eye, her “friend.” and my ex (who works and lives less than 15 minutes from her and the hospital) treating her with extreme contempt even when she has an ER visit for a fall: “You can just leave me alone!” My mom, yes, my daughter’s other grandmother, who is also alienated now, had to take care of my former mother-in-law.
I also knew how obsessive, greedy, tenacious and manipulating he would be. He is very intelligent and talented and funny. Sadly, he uses his “gifts” to deceive, use and hurt much more often than not. He feels entitled, and everyone else goes along with it.
He lies without conscious, and it goes undetected except perhaps a nervous tic in his neck if he feels exposed to any observers.
Back to when my daughter first extremely alienated from me:
My daughter no longer had contact with my mom, who she had previously enjoyed a loving relationship with. I was afraid, shocked, & I didn’t know what to expect — would I ever see her again? Would she return to me once her dad showed his purpose (child support, tax deduction, the opportunity to hurt me & make it look like the marriage was my fault after all in front of the women he wanted to impress, the chance to have more control over her…)?
I was overwhelmed with confusion, but because I wanted to protect my kids from my worry — including her, especially her (she had been acting out, and I was not sure what all she was capable of, then she had a suicide attempt after moving in with him and the stepmother, who helped with his plans and façade),
I maintained my composure in front of them as best I could. But a zombie was more how I really felt. (I later came across a Parental Alienation site where a completely alienated father referred to himself as “Dead Man Walking.” I knew exactly what he meant.)
I told myself that it would be like she was gone to boarding school. But no, at boarding school, kids aren’t taught to despise the family they used to love. At boarding school, kids are supervised and kept safe. At boarding school, kids aren’t taught that lying and manipulating is rewarded by the legal system.
Any boarding school that would do otherwise, that would behave as an alienated parent does, would be shut down when exposed.
I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted to not feel. I wanted time to stop, too. My daughter and I should be able to be together! She shouldn’t have to grow up without me! The memories we could have enjoyed creating — stolen.
My daughter needed me & I needed to care for her!
But we were stopped from a God-given relationship
as time marched on.
Time wouldn’t stop. I left family, friends, and my German Shepard for a good job in the city that allowed me to financially care for my kids and myself. I left much furniture with my older boys, already out of high school. I had only a bed and a dresser, but no TV, radio, chair, or Internet when I moved to a new area that provided work. Legal fees and time spent gathering info that never got before the family court judge stole my health and my livelihood.
The pain hasn’t stopped either. She is 17 now. I still lie awake at night worrying about her.
My ex and the indifferent, incompetent, and corrupt court system prevented me from saving her from what experts have called “the worst form of child abuse” — despite the evidence. Strong, obvious evidence. They say Parental Alienation is hard to prove, but the lies were documented. His pattern of questionable and unethical behavior was documented by government records. There were witnesses to his fraud and abuse, but he has a long record of getting away with it. And there was much more, not to mention common sense signs of red flags.
That is my anger talking. Anger is easier than pain.
I avoid some memories. I am re-traumatized by the memory of less than a year ago hearing via an email that my daughter’s nose was mauled by a pit bull, and I was stopped from talking to the doctor (despite court orders and the fact that I am the only parent who covers her health insurance). I heard via my daughter’s friend that my ex treated my daughter hatefully when this happened. But my daughter covers and excuses him to others just as a battered wife.
As much as possible, I focus on the beauty in my life. I don’t think of myself as “Dead man walking” anymore. I am enjoying the love present in my life. I get to enjoy the love of both my daughter’s grandmothers. Sickeningly, my ex has not only alienated my daughter from my mom, but his mother as well. I enjoy the love of other family members and more.
Beauty and love are things I ought to be able to share with my daughter, but I can’t. It’s not just up to me. I’ve done what I can. I do what I know to be possible, given that any move I make meets a punishment that hurts both me and my daughter.
I don’t expect to hear from my daughter for my birthday this year either. (Dr.Craig Childress and Dr. Linda Kase Gottlieb and other Parental Alienation experts have sound explanations for an alienated child’s cold behavior toward the loving parent.)
I have been blessed with much love. It of course can never replace the love a mother and daughter have, but I have to be at peace the best I can.
There are many players who have their part in severe and ongoing Parental Alienation.
I also feel a responsibility to be grateful for being able to love my Sweetheart, whose love is so …. genuine.
Happy birthday to me?
There’s a missing part, but it’s become numb to a certain extent. For the most part, yes, my birthday will be happy, thanks to those with the courage and willingness to love. Thank you.